The 3 Pillars of Healthy Living

by Michelle Berger, Joni Gerken & Anna Izzo

Healthy can be deceiving, and also very confusing. What does it even mean to be healthy anymore? Does it mean you have to buy that supplement your friend mentioned, or does it mean you have to run every day, or eat zero fats?

Anna (Fitness Coach), Michelle (Yoga Instructor) and Joni (Registered Dietitian) are all here to help untangle and simplify this topic of healthy. Hopefully their perspectives will help ease your confusion on how to lead a healthy life amidst all the noise that's out there.

Pillar I: Movement

by Anna Izzo

Would you rather drink water from a stagnant murky pond or a clear flowing river? Unless you have a strange affinity for unsanitary beverages, I'd imagine you answered you'd rather drink from a clear flowing river. This is one of my favorite analogies to use in explaining the importance of daily physical activity.

When we spend the entirety of our days sitting still with little to no movement, our bodily systems become resemblant of the stagnant murky pond. Simply put, less movement means functioning less optimally.

Whereas when we take what a friend of mine likes to refer to as "movement snacks" throughout the day, we are functioning much more like the clear flowing river. Our heart pumps, our blood circulates, our lymph drains and our bodies function optimally.

The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise each week, and for good reason. Exercise has been proven to decrease risk and exacerbation of many diseases, however less than 25% of the nation's population is in fact meeting these recommendations. Meaning there are more of us functioning like murky ponds than flowing rivers. It might not be fun to hear, but it's our reality.

Use it or lose it isn't just a tough love saying, it's true. Whether we want to live a simple healthy life, achieve lofty fitness goals or perform at a high level of competition, a component that cannot be substituted is exercise.

That doesn't mean we have to run a marathon every single day or suffer through exercise that we really don't like (although there is something positive to be said about the things that challenge us), but it does mean we need to prioritize finding movement that we do love - better yet movement that we look forward to - and do it consistently often.

One of the best ways to create new habits - whether a newcomer to exercise or someone trying to reach new heights in their fitness journey - is to stack the new habits on top of old habits that we already have established (i.e. when you drive home from work - something you already do every day - pack a bag and pull into the gym and get in a workout before going all the way home). The easier we make the beginning of a new habit, the more likely we are to carry through on it.

So stop and think for a second? What movement do you enjoy? How can you stack it on top of something you already do? If you're already fairly active, how can you change up your regimen to reach your goals?

As always, our fitness coaches are here for you and are always more than willing to help you find ways to stay active, move better and feel your absolute best. No matter where you're trying to go, the best place to start is exactly where you are.